Friday, December 15, 2017

Abraham Lincoln's Christmas Shortbread Cookies with Brandy (1861)

  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached flour (up to 1/2 cup more ma be needed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tbspns salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup dried currants, chopped
  • 1/4 tspn each, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, mace
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Make a mixed spice blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Measure out 1/4 teaspoon of the spice mixture, and add to the flour and sugar. (Reserve the rest of the spices for next time you bake shortbreads.)

With a fork, stir in the melted butter and brandy. Add the chopped currants. Knead with your hands until you have a smooth, non-sticky ball, adding more flour if needed. Divide the ball into 4 equal parts. Pat each piece out into a circle about 5 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. 

Place on the prepared baking sheet. Score each into 6 pie-shaped wedges by pressing a sharp knife through the circle of dough. Bake until shortbreads are just starting to turn golden and are firm to the touch, about 25 to 35 minutes. Makes 2 dozen shortbread wedges.

(Origin - "Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen" by Rae Katherine Eighmey. Published by Smithsonian Books, 2013.)

More "Lost" Historic American Recipes
Martha Washington's Nutmeg Custard Pie (1770)
Thomas Jefferson's Macaroni and Cheese (1802)
Abe Lincoln's Butter-Browned Steak with Coffee-Mustard Sauce (1837)

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